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White Power to the People: The Gentrification of Protests

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We all know that media framing of news events almost always privileges Whiteness. The privileging of Whiteness while simultaneously marginalizing other cultures is not a new concept. From the time of Black enslavement until the present day, the dominant pattern of White representation through media has been skewed to maintain the superiority and dominance of Whites. Historically, media tailored its content to White audiences, stressing the racial hierarchal structure of American culture, while ignoring or trivializing the experiences and history of people of color.

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Nowhere has this been more clear than in the recent coverage of the Florida student gun law protests. I want to be very clear that this is not a critique of the Florida students; I am so proud of their determination to effect some real change, and I am angry that these kids have been forced to become activists. All I cared about in high school was talking my parents into a new pair of sneakers and some Gap jeans to go with it. I admire the moxie of these kids.

And while I admire them, I would be remiss to ignore the stark difference in the way media cover the Florida teens’ protests as compared to the protest of the young people in Baltimore or Ferguson. The Florida students are framed on The NY Times, Washington Post, CNN and every other major media outlet (minus the ones tucked up Trump’s ass) as heroes. Their stories are written with empathy. Their protest is given legitimacy (as it should be). It is valued in a way that the protests of the Baltimore and Ferguson young people’s protests were not.

Perhaps it’s the cause. Police brutality is far more likely to affect people of color while a spree shooter’s bullet ain’t got no name on it. Perhaps it’s because these Florida students employed the tactics of our Civil Rights Movement faves marching for freedom; Oprah even compared them to the Freedom Riders of the 60s, whose social justice initiatives were also rooted in maintaining the respectability and docility of Black people. Black rage isn’t respectable.

When the Black kids in Baltimore, who have for generations, lived under the oppressive boot of the overtly corrupt police department (see Korryn Gaines family is awarded $37 million in damages or Baltimore’s Gun Trace Task Force found guilty of robbery and racketeering if you don’t believe me) rise up, well, the story goes a little differently.

I was born and raised in Baltimore, and I can attest to the corruption of officers since forever. The young people in Baltimore live in communities where police officers routinely harass them and their parents and their friends and their grandmothers and uncles and cousins for being in a Black community walking down the street; there is nothing they can do about it. Young women who are raped and sexually assaulted don’t bother reporting it because rape kits sit unopened and unexamined for years. As a Black person in Baltimore, you can have poverty, classrooms with no heat in freezing temperatures, low paying jobs, and segregated communities, but you can’t have justice or fair coverage on local media.

Perhaps it’s the cause. Police brutality is far more likely to affect people of color while a spree shooter’s bullet ain’t got no name on it. Click To Tweet

During the April 2015 uprising in Baltimore, the footage that dominated media were the burning CVS and the kids pummeling a car. The “riot” spanned a two-block radius, but the way the media covered it, you would think the entire city was burning. The media did not cover the events of the following day when young people all over the city went to the Westside community to clean up. They also did not cover the number of young people who became community advocates and activists as a result, working within the community to provide resources that are simply not available to them.

Perhaps the coverage is different because Baltimore’s young protestors are Black, and Florida’s protestors are mostly White (at least that’s how the media are covering it).

So, while I am happy that the Florida students have decided to join together, with the unwavering and very vocal support of Oprah, to elicit some change in this country around gun laws, it also feels bittersweet because I know the kids in Baltimore who were fighting just as hard as the kids in Florida won’t get the same empathy nor a $500,000 donation from Oprah Winfrey.

 

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Entertainment

The Diversity JUMPED out: Savage x Fenty Fashion Show Gave us all the Inclusion we Needed

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Last night Savage x Fenty by Rihanna ended New York Fashion Week with a bang! The lingerie brand had an array of women from different skin tones to body types. Rih wanted to show the world that ANYONE can wear Savage x Fenty and feel sexy. There were even pregnant models featured in the show. Yes, pregnant. Get into the models and event down below:

 

Rihanna is taking the fashion industry by storm. Let’s hope other fashion brands can follow suit.

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Lawrence Makes His Way Back to Insecure and Leaves Us SHOOK

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Lawrence must’ve had a seasonal positional at Best Buy because he is back but will he be in a full-time employee in Issa’s life?

Insecure delivered one of the most sickening episodes with “High-Like” episode 4, and not because they brought back breaking couch potato, Lawrence. It was the conversation about friendships and how things change. Dealing with real situations and how friends can all have something going on but also come to support one another. But for some of us seeing Lawrence made us wet and how us wondering why since we didn’t want to see him anymore.

The last 2 minutes as Issa walks in 7-Eleven after trying to assure Tiffany that things will be the same after she has her baby. Tiffany seems to be reluctant that it will be. Issa walks into the store to get some water and runs into Chad the Bluetooth wearing real estate agent. As she looked over to her left (in my Tweet voice) their goes Lawrence looking so good without a mustache OH MY! Issa’s looks as if she is excited and Chad’s mood is all of us!

Take a look at some of the reactions from Twitter as some said: “To hell with Lawrence!”

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Black People Stay Winning! Tiffany Haddish & Katt Williams Win Emmys!

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Tiffany Haddish made history last year for the being the first black female comedienne to host “Saturday Night Live.” Her performance garnered her a Creative Emmy for “best guest actress in a comedy.” During her SNL episode, Haddish addressed the hot button issue of sexual assault in Hollywood. It’s great that Haddish was able to bridge the gap between comedy and current events and get an Emmy for it! Haddish beat out Maya Rudolph, Jane Lynch, Tina Fey, and Wanda Sykes.

Another Emmy award winner we’re excited about is Katt Williams. The comedian won “best guest actor in a comedy” for his appearance on FX’s “Atlanta.” Katt Williams played Earn’s Uncle Willy and stole the show. This is great news because Williams career has gone through its ups and downs along with his personal life. With the Netflix special and this Emmy hopefully, this indicates that the “It’s Pimpin’ Pimpin'” comedian’s career is on an incline and we get to see him in more TV and film projects. Williams beat out Bryan Cranston, Donald Glover, Sterling K. Brown, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Bill Hader for the award.

It’s great to see black talent that would be classified as “ghetto” or “ratchet” win Emmy awards. This goes to show that that respectability politics isn’t ruling anything over here. Black people are being their authentic selves and getting awards for it.

Are y’all here for the Emmy’s now that we’re getting awards or are they still late like always? Let us know in the comments.

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